We all struggle with the B-word.
We use it every day.
The B-word is also a feeling that pesters us throughout the day. We’re never far from its influence.
If the B-word has its way, we have a hard time stopping to pray. Serving others seems impossible. Living like Jesus just can’t fit into our schedule.
We are BUSY.
There, I said the B-word. It’s such a terrible four letter word. It signifies more than just a full plate. It suggests elements of chaos and hurry, rushing from one thing to another with our arms loaded down.
If you’re busy or at least think you’re busy, it’s hard to sit down to pray. You feel this tug to stay in motion, to keep moving on to the next thing.
Who can sit and wait for God when your mind is cranking into motion?
Having a kid around has redefined the word busy for me. I know that’s sort of a parenting cliché. I don’t want to put parents on a different level than single folks or married couples without kids. I’m just saying… WOW!
Ethan keeps me hopping, and I’ve had to rethink when and how I pray or read scripture. I’m still trying to figure out where service to others fits in, as I don’t think having a kid gives me an opt out clause for Matthew 25. I want and need to be involved in works of justice in my community.
I’ve found that I increasingly need to work with smaller chunks of time during this season. A bit of scripture meditation in the morning, a walk with Ethan to clear my mind while he snoozes, and perhaps a little more scripture reading at night. As for Matthew 25, I’m currently praying for a regular nap schedule so I can plan more than 2-3 hours ahead each day.
Ah, but that B-word, it pokes and prods me every day, especially for my noon and evening prayer times. I’m tempted to fly through the scripture passages, content to count “reading my assignment” as good enough for God. How quickly the B-word turns a freeing spiritual practice into an obligatory time card. How tragic it is when the B-word empties the joy out of my pause to pray.
Sometimes our lives fill up. There’s no doubt that we have to turn some things down.
However, when I use the B-word as an excuse to avoid prayer or love of neighbor, I’m lying. Unbalanced or mistaken priorities? Yes.
The pursuit of God takes an act of the will. Some days it’s as simple as flipping open a book. Other days I need to move mountains. Either way, it is my choice, and the lie behind the word “busy” is that I have none.